December 9th, 1968 at 3:00pm at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, California, Doug Engelbart was slated to present his research. Instead of giving his talk, he and his team demonstrated their vision and progress to an astonished audience of a thousand computer professionals throughout the 90 minute session. Attendees got a taste of how knowledge workers of the future would work together in an online interactive collaborative hyperlinked information space. This was not just a demonstration of what could be, it was a demonstration of how the researchers in Doug’s lab were already working on a daily basis, facilitated by breakthrough computing technology they had developed and were continuously advancing in their lab at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International).
Technological firsts included the ‘world debut’ of the computer mouse, graphical user interface, hypermedia, shared-screen teleconferencing, and much much more. Engelbart was later honored with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation and other prestigious awards for his seminal vision and accomplishments.
Watch highlights of the actual demo
Visit Doug’s 1968 Demo page for more footage,
archive photos, retrospectives, fun facts, and more
Read the Forbes article by Gil Press
This Week In Tech History: The Mother Of All Demos